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Poor health and refraining from seeking healthcare are associated with comprehensive health literacy among refugees: a Swedish cross-sectional study

Josefin Wångdahl (), Per Lytsy, Lena Mårtensson and Ragnar Westerling
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Josefin Wångdahl: Uppsala University
Per Lytsy: Uppsala University
Lena Mårtensson: University of Gothenburg
Ragnar Westerling: Uppsala University

International Journal of Public Health, 2018, vol. 63, issue 3, 409-419

Abstract: Abstract Objectives The objectives of the study were to explore the distributions of comprehensive health literacy (CHL), general health, psychological well-being, and having refrained from seeking healthcare among refugees in Sweden. Further objectives were to examine associations between CHL and the above-mentioned factors. Methods A cross-sectional study was conducted among 513 refugees speaking Arabic, Dari, and Somali. Participants in the civic orientation course in Sweden responded to a questionnaire. CHL was measured using the HLS-EU-Q16 questionnaire. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression was used to investigate potential associations. Results The majority of the respondents had limited CHL, and about four of ten had reported poor health and/or having refrained from seeking healthcare. Limited CHL was associated with having reported poor health and having refrained from seeking healthcare. Conclusions A considerable proportion of the refugees in Sweden have limited CHL, and report less than good health and impaired well-being, or that they have refrained from seeking healthcare. Furthermore, CHL is associated with the above-mentioned factors. Efforts are needed to promote refugees’ CHL, optimal health-seeking behavior, and health.

Keywords: Health literacy; General health; Psychological well-being; Refrained from seeking healthcare; Healthcare; Refugees (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:spr:ijphth:v:63:y:2018:i:3:d:10.1007_s00038-017-1074-2